Mayor James L. Schaadt’s Speech on Accepting the Lehigh Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Allentown, 19 October 1899

The Honorable James L. Schaadt, Mayor, City of Allentiwn (1899, public domain)

The Honorable James L. Schaadt, Mayor, City of Allentown (1899, public domain)

The Honorable James L. Schaadt, Mayor of the City of Allentown, was one of the dignitaries chosen to celebrate the dedication of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Allentown on 19 October 1864. According to The Allentown Leader, in accepting delivery of the monument from former U.S. Congressman Constantine J. Erdman, Mayor Schaadt said the following to the large crowd:

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the Board of County Commissioners:

This monument of enduring granite, grand in its simplicity and chaste in its design, erected by the county of Lehigh to the memory of its sons who suffered and fought in the Civil War, the city of Allentown receives into its loving care and faithful keeping. Accepted upon this, the anniversary of Cedar Creek, when so many of Lehigh’s sons gave their life blood for their country, this shaft brings back freshly the memory of the wounds and the grief of that day. It is not, however, the memorial of a single battle; for the mute bronze in which Hancock and Hartranft, Meade and McClellan, and the soldier and the sailor below them, look down upon this scene, will call back to memory clear as trumpet blast, the march, the bivouac, the battlefield, the hospital, and the prison pen, which the sons of Lehigh, their brothers of Pennsylvania, and their comrades in the whole army underwent for four weary years.

Placed here upon the busy streets of our city, this shaft will be to the generations coming as long as its granite endures, not only a memorial of the dead past, but a living instructor, teaching that the love of country is nobler than the acquisition of wealth, and that the good citizen obedient to his country’s laws and ready to die in her defence [sic] is a surer safeguard than cannon and armored ships. Especially to the young of coming generations, the memories awakened by this stone will be an incentive and an inspiration to be worthy, and if need be, to rival the noble deeds and patriotic sacrifices of worthy ancestors.

With the cannon of last year’s war just cooling, with its wounds still bleeding, with its responsibilities fresh upon us, let those now living heed the prayer of the martyr Lincoln at Gettysburg and dedicate themselves anew to the unfinished work nobly advanced. Let the fires of patriotism, kindled last year in the breasts of our people North and South, be kept ever fiercely burning, so that all Americans, once arrayed against each other under separate standards, may forget the days of hate and become under one glorious flag of our country, one people, one race, one kindred, one nation. Firm in faith and unwavering in fidelity to our government, let us turn our faces as bravely and as hopefully towards the coming century as yonder towering Goddess of Freedom presents her brow to the rising sun, believing all things, trusting all things, knowing that while honor and patriotism live, so lives the republic.

 

Source:

A Glorious Day: Yesterday’s Monument Unveiling a Great Success: Gov. Stone’s Taking Little Speech: Praise for Dr. Baer’s Oration. Colonel Shaw Grows Eloquent and General Stewart’s Windup Pleases Everybody. Monument Now in Allentown’s Care, in The Allentown Leader. Allentown: 20 October 1889.

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